by Mike Andrew -
SGN Staff Writer
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has published its Form 990 tax return for 2012, and it shows the anti-Gay organization with a $2.7 million deficit. Form 990s must be filed by nonprofit organizations to report their income and expenditures.
On the spending side, NOM got very little bang for its buck. Most of the group's 'grants' went to failed campaigns to prevent marriage equality in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.
In this state, most of NOM's money - $1,130,000 worth - went to the main anti-equality campaign, Protect Marriage Washington. Another $11,000 went to the Family Policy Institute, a Lynnwood-based lobbying group run by Joseph Backholm.
The Minnesota campaign received NOM's largest contribution, almost $2 million, and Maryland got $1,640,000. New Jersey efforts to uphold Gov. Chris Christie's veto of that state's marriage equality bill got a relatively paltry $10,000. The override was made moot, of course, by a New Jersey court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.
NOM's only winning play was the North Carolina constitutional amendment barring Gay and Lesbian couples from marrying. The group spent $425,000 in that state.
On the revenue side, NOM's report shows 64 unnamed donors, each contributing more that $5,000. Nine of them gave NOM $100,000 or more. The three largest donors gave the group contributions of $2.6 million, $1.9 million, and $1.5 million.
NOM's tax return also revealed the fact that the NOM Education Fund, NOM's 501(c)(3) 'charitable education' arm, loaned NOM's political wing nearly $1.7 million. Federal law prohibits 501(c)(3)s from engaging in electoral campaigns or lobbying work, and the loan raises the question whether the Education Fund's money was used for activities that violate the Education Fund's tax exempt status.
HRC, which has tangled with NOM over the anti-Gay group's disclosure practices in the past, issued a statement celebrating NOM's financial difficulties.
'It's becoming increasingly difficult to look at the so-called National Organization for Marriage as a viable entity,' said Fred Sainz, HRC Vice President of Communications. 'The organization draws its funds from just a few mega-donors, and it boasts a losing electoral track record over the past few years that reflects how increasingly out-of-step NOM's anti-LGBT agenda is with the values of the average American voter.'
In October, NOM filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), alleging that the federal tax agency leaked confidential documents naming NOM donors to HRC, which HRC then published on its website. Among other NOM donors on the list was the Free and Strong America PAC, created by 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
NOM also alleged that it had been specifically targeted by the IRS because of the Obama administration's support of same-sex marriage. NOM chairman John Eastman testified to that effect before the House Ways and Means Committee in June.
GROUP CONCEALED DONORS
Most states require ballot campaigns to disclose donors, and NOM was successfully prosecuted by the state of Maine for violating its disclosure laws during the Question 1 campaign in 2012.
HRC continues to charge NOM with illegally hiding its donors. NOM replied with a blistering attack in a statement accompanying its 990 tax form.
'NOM fully complies with federal law regarding the public availability of our Form 990 tax return,' the group said.
'Our 2012 Form 990 was mailed to the IRS on November 15th as required by law. It is available for public inspection on the NOM website. This frivolous complaint by the HRC is extremely ironic given the fact that HRC published on its website the private information from NOM's 2008 Form 990, which is a felony under federal law and which is the subject of current Congressional investigations. NOM has also filed a federal lawsuit against the IRS to find out who in the IRS illegally released to the HRC our confidential donor information.'
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